He walked directly across the square, which was almost
empty now, to the courthouse, and through the side door to
the sheriff's office. The lanky, middle-aged man propped up
against the desk there said, "Hello, Perse. What can I do
for you?" and gestured toward a chair.
" I want you to do me a favour, Mr. Sam."
"Tell me about it," the sheriff replied, and added, "Why
don't you take a chair? You make me tired looking at you."
"No, thanks, 111 stand."
"You'll wear yourself out, boy, before your span, standing
up all your life." The sheriff tilted his own chair farther
back and began to finger his grey moustache. His silver-
rimmed glasses, set loosely on his long nose, gave him an air
of great benevolence.
" I want to borrow a couple of your deputies, Mr. Sam."
" They ain't worth a God-damn," the sheriff declared, " but
you can have 'em. You don't even have to bring 'em back/'
" I just want a couple. To help me at a little job."
"What little job, Perse?"
" To be perfectly fair with you, Mr. Sam, I want them to
go out and help me break the law. I'm a lawyer, and I
know. I want them to help me shake down about twenty-
five nigger cabins. I'm hunting something."
" You can have Monroe and Carson," the sheriff said.
" I don't want Carson," Mr. Munn answered.
"What's the matter with Carson?"
"Nothing's the matter with Carson," Mr. Munn replied.
"I met him a few minutes ago when he came out of the
jail. He just makes me want to puke."
The sheriff put his long yellow forefinger to the silver nose-
bar of his spectacles and pushed them into place. " Carson's
all right," he said deprecatingly. " He does the best he can
according to his lights."
"He's a son-of-a-bitch," Mr. Munn announced simply.
" All right, all right, Perse. I'll call up Burke, if I can get
him. It's a moonlight night tonight and somebody might
see you out with Carson. I don't blame you a mite. I never